slang(redirected from American slang)
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slang,vernacular vocabulary not generally acceptable in formal usage. It is notable for its liveliness, humor, emphasis, brevity, novelty, and exaggeration. Most slang is faddish and ephemeral, but some words are retained for long periods and eventually become part of the standard language (e.g., phony, blizzard, movie). On the scale used to indicate a word's status in the language, slang ranks third behind standard and colloquial (or informal) and before cant. Slang often conveys an acerbic, even offensive, no-nonsense attitude and lends itself to poking fun at pretentiousness. Frequently grotesque and fantastic, it is usually spoken with intent to produce a startling or original effect. It is especially well developed in the speaking vocabularies of cultured, sophisticated, linguistically rich languages. The first dictionary of English slang is said to be Thomas Harman's A Caveat or Warening for Commen Cursetors, published in 1567.
Characteristically individual, slang often incorporates elements of the jargons of special-interest groups (e.g., professional, sport, regional, criminal, drug, and sexual subcultures). Slang words often come from foreign languages or are of a regional nature. Slang is very old, and the reasons for its development have been much investigated. The following is a small sample of American slang descriptive of a broad range of subjects: of madness—loony, nuts, psycho; of crime—heist, gat, hit, heat, grifter; of women—babe, chick, squeeze, skirt; of men—dude, hombre, hunk; of drunkenness—sloshed, plastered, stewed, looped, trashed, smashed; of drugs—horse, high, stoned, tripping; of caressing—neck, fool around, make out; of states of mind—uptight, wired, mellow, laid back; the verb to go—scram, split, scoot, tip; miscellaneous phrases—you push his buttons, get it together, chill, she does her number, he does his thing, what's her story, I'm not into that.
See H. L. Mencken, The American Language (3 vol., 1936–48); P. Farb, Word Play (1973); J. Green, The Dictionary of Contemporary Slang (1985) and Green's Dictionary of Slang (3 vol., 2011); R. Chapman, Thesaurus of American Slang (1989); E. Partridge, A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English (1990); J. E. Lighter, ed., Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang (A–G, 1994, H–O, 1997); Bodleian Library, ed., The First English Dictionary of Slang, 1699 (2010); J. Coleman, The Life of Slang (2012).
expressively and emotionally colored vocabulary used in colloquial speech and deviating from the accepted norm of the literary language. The Russian word sleng, which is taken from the English word “slang,” is most often applied to the English language as spoken in England and the USA.
Slang is used chiefly by students, military personnel, and young workers. Because slang undergoes frequent changes, whole generations can be identified by the slang that they use. Slang is easily incorporated into the literary language and can be used in literature as a way of describing characters and establishing a distinct voice for the author. This can be seen in Soviet literature in works by F. I. Panferov, F. V. Gladkov, I. E. Babel’, I. Il’f and E. Petrov, and V. Aksenov and in works by C. Dickens, W. Thackeray, J. Galsworthy, T. Dreiser, J. D. Salinger, and other British and American writers. The word “slang” is a partial synonym for the terms “argot” and “jargon.”
REFERENCESGal’perin, I. R. “O termine ‘sleng.’” Voprosy iazykoznaniia, 1956, no. 6. (Bibliography.)
Shveitser, A. D. “Nekotorye aktual’nye problemy sotsiolingvistiki.” Inostrannye iazyki v shkole, 1969, no. 3. (Bibliography.)
Skvortsov, L. I. “Ob otsenkakh iazyka molodezhi.” Voprosy kul’tury rechi, 1964, issue 5. (Bibliography.)
T. V. VENTTSEL
digispeakUsing acronyms as a shorthand for phrases in email, instant messages, texting and chat sessions; for example, BTW for "by the way" and IMHO for "in my humble opinion." The acronyms have turned into a new language, also called "techspeak," "textspeak," "geekspeak," "Internet speak," "Webspeak" and "IMglish." For people who cannot type fast and hunt and peck every letter, these acronyms are a blessing. Following are some popular examples. See leetspeak and alphanumerish.
.02 My two cents worth. <3 Sideways heart (I love you). ADIP Another day in paradise. AFAIK As far as I know. AFK Away from keyboard. A/S/L Age, sex, location. ASIG And so it goes. ATM At the moment. AWGTHTGTTA Are we going to have to go through this again. AYS Are you serious? AYT Are you there? B4N Bye for now. BAK Back at keyboard. BBL Be back later. BFF Best friend forever. BFN Bye for now. BLNT Better luck next time. BM&Y Between me and you. BME Based on my experience. BRB Be right back. BTDT Been there, done that. BTW By the way. BWL Bursting with laughter. CMIIW Correct me if I'm wrong. CRBT Crying really big tears. CTN Can't talk now. CU See you. CUL See you later. CWYL Chat with you later. CYA See ya. DETI Don't even think it. DILLIGAF Do I look like I give a f*** DQMOT Don't quote me on this. DUR Do you remember? DYJHIW Don't you just hate it when.. EBCAK Error between chair and keyboard. EBKAC Error between keyboard and chair. EMFBI Excuse me for butting in. EWG Evil wicked grin. F2F Face to face. FCOL For crying out loud. FOAF Friend of a friend. FOMO Fear of missing out. FUBAR Fouled up beyond all recognition. FWIW For what it's worth. FYEO For your eyes only. FYI For your information. GAL Get a life. GD&R Grinning, ducking and running. GMTA Great minds think alike. GR8 Great. GTG Got to go. HB Hurry back. HBU How about you? HHOK Ha, ha, only kidding. HODL I am hodling (holding). HTH Hope this helps. IANAL I am not a laywer, but... IAW In accordance with. IDK I don't know. IIRC If I recall correctly. ILY I love you. IMCO In my considered opinion. IMHO In my humble opinion. IMO In my opinion. IOW In other words. IRL In real life. JFF Just for fun. JK Just kidding. JOOTT Just one of those things. JW Just wondering. KIA Know-it-all. KIT Keep in touch. KK Okay, all right. KNIM Know what I mean. KPC Keeping parents clueless. L8R Later. LMAO Laughing my ass off. LD Later dude. LOL Laughing out loud; Lots of luck. LMIRL Let's meet in real life. LULz Lots of laughs. LY Love ya. LYLAS Love ya like a sister. MEH I fell so-so. MGB May God bless. MOO My own opinion. MNC Mother nature calls. MWA A kiss (the sound of "mwa.") MYOB Mind your own business. N2M Not too much. NALOPKT Not a lot of people know this. NIGI Now I get it. NIH Not invented here. NM Nothing much. NOOB Beginner (see newbie). NP No problem. NTMY Nice to meet you. NVM Never mind. NW No way. OIC Oh, I see. OMG Oh my God! OMW On my way. OOH Out of here. OOO Out of office. OTFL On the floor laughing. OTOH On the other hand. OTP On the phone. PAL Parents are listening. PEBCAK Problem exists between chair and keyboard. PEBKAC Problem exists between keyboard and chair. PIR Parents in room. PITA Pain in the ass. PLBCAK Problem lies between chair and keyboard. PLBKAC Problem lies between keyboard and chair. PMJI Pardon my jumping in. PMO Piss me off. POS Parent over shoulder. POTATO Person over 30 acting 21. PRW Parents are watching. PTG&LI Playing the game & loving it. RBAY Right back at you. RHIP Rank has its privileges. RL Real life. ROFL Rolling on floor laughing. ROFLMAO ROF, laughing my ass off. RT Real talk. Being honest. RTFM Read the f***ing Manual (see RTFM). RUOK Are you OK? SC Stay cool. SFAIK So far as I know. SIT Stay in touch. STFU Shut the f*** up! SUP What's up? SWL Screaming with laughter. SYS See you soon. TANSTAAFL There ain't no such thing as a free lunch. THX Thanks. TIA Thanks in advance. TLDR Too long, didn't read. TMTH Too much to handle. TTFN Ta, ta for now (goodbye). TTT Thought that too. TTYL Talk to you later. TTYS Talk to you soon. TU Thank you. TY Thank you. UCMU You crack me up. UDM You da man. UOK Are you OK? U2U Up to you. URTM You are the man. UTM You tell me. VBS Very big smile. WFM Works for me. WTG Way to go. WUF Where are you from? WYHAM When you have a minute. WWJD What would Jesus do? WWNC Will wonders never cease. XLNT Excellent. XME Excuse me. YGTBKM You've got to be kidding me. YMMV Your mileage may vary. YNK You never know. YOLO You only live once. YT You there? YW You're welcome. YWSYLS You win some, you lose some. ZUP What's up?